Want to be forever relevant? Keep your power as a sought-after pro
Updated: Sep 24, 2021
In our parents’ and grandparents’ eras, you went to school or apprenticed in a trade, acquiring the skills you’d need for a lifetime of work. You might’ve spent decades working for the same company. After 20 or 30 years, maybe they’d gift you a clock with your name on it.
Now think about the last time you had to learn something new. My guess is that it wasn’t back in your college days—it was more like yesterday.
Or maybe it was this morning.
You didn’t chide yourself for not knowing the answer. You likely sought out resources so you could learn what you didn’t know. (And you probably turned to technology as the quickest means in which to do it.)
Regardless, you’ve sought (and continue to seek) ways to improve and expand your knowledge because you know it's your currency in the knowledge economy.
So…how are you learning?
1. Follow Experts’ Twitter Accounts
Who knew Twitter could be educational?
Hilarious memes, trending topics, a constantly updating feed…what starts as a few minutes of scrolling can soon turn into a couple of hours.
Quit Twitter? Certainly, no. But you can use Twitter to your benefit by consuming content that actually helps you become a pro (in between meme-scrolling, of course).
Thought leaders are dropping wisdom daily. For example, if you’re a marketer, you can follow Ann Handley. A Wall Street Journal bestselling author and Head of Content at MarketingProfs, Ann Handley not only shares her articles and podcasts, but also links to other amazing content on marketing. (See this tweet where she shared a guide to thought leadership strategy by Ashley Faus.)
Media outlets = a treasure trove of expert insights. If you’re a higher ed professional, for instance, you can follow The Chronicle of Higher Education to read the latest news on all things higher ed, and then take things one step further by engaging with authors on this platform, or inviting them to connect on LinkedIn.
Threads are the best kind of internet rabbit holes. Search for [“thing you’re interested in” + “thread”] to find thematically linked tweets, which contain many nuggets of wisdom. Check out this ‘ultimate distribution thread’ from Ross Simmonds. Try out a suggestion or two and share the results.
You get the idea!
2. Learn From Educational YouTube Videos
“The most valuable workers now and in the future will be those who can combine human + technical skills (human+ for short), and adapt to the changing needs of the workplace.”
- Michelle R. Weise, Long Life Learning
To stay relevant in your career, you need to embrace the idea of lifelong learning. And one of the most accessible ways to learn new skills or gain knowledge is by watching educational YouTube videos.
For example, PBS Learning Media streams virtual discussions and live webinars to provide educators with professional development resources, tools, and strategies. On Richard Byrne’s YouTube channel, you’ll find tutorials, tricks, and tips on popular edtech.
3. Listen to Podcasts
You can’t read a newsletter while commuting or cooking. You can’t read tweets or watch YouTube videos while you’re doing the chores. But you can listen to podcasts.
Listening to podcasts from domain experts makes my mundane tasks more interesting and productive. This has to be my favorite!
If you’re a content creator, I recommend a podcast called On the Media. It’s not just for content creators per se but is all about storytelling from a media brand and journalism perspective. You’re sure to walk away with new lessons, ideas, or cautionary tales after each episode.
Listen to the story of the Washing Post acquisition by Jeff Bezos here.
💡 Not ready to commit to a podcast series just yet? Google "Expert name" + "podcast" to find all the places your favorite authors and thought leaders are showing up!
Take charge of your path forward by following these unconventional means of self-directed learning and stay relevant forever!
Megha Sharma is a freelance content writer. A skilled and versatile creator of blog posts, articles, web copy, press releases, and newsletters, she regularly produces content for companies in a variety of niches.